Discover: 50 Spring Gardening Activities for Kids

Hop into the garden with your little ones this season with our collection of over 50 hands-on spring gardening activities for kids! From growing seedlings and planting vegetables, to recycled DIY kids gardening tools, mud play, and flower art – loads of fresh ideas to help your kids enjoy the garden!

Kids Gardening Activities and Ideas – Table of Contents

Of all the smells in the world, few have the power to transport me back to childhood like the smells of stirring dirt and “fresh” ozone that come with the first spring rain. Before I even have time to notice the gentle tapping on the roof, I’m right back in my tiny galoshes and green, whale-lined raincoat, anxiously waiting for my Montessori teachers to throw open the doors to the school gardens for the first wonderfully muddy excursion of the season. Before spring has even really arrived, my nose has primed me for a good tromp around the yard and dig in the dirt.

My childhood March, April, and Mays were awash in spring gardening experiences. From potting spring pansies and planting vegetable seeds, to picking rocks out of the spring beds my parents worked on, and digging the little hole for the spruce seedlings we received at school on Arbor Day. I have so many wonderful memories of playing out in the garden come spring, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was also developing scads of skills. Learning about organisms, habitats, and life processes in the garden helped me connect to and care for the environment. It cultivated a sense of responsibility – not just to tend to our natural spaces, but also to continue learning about them.

Spring gardens are magical places, full of new life and little mysteries just waiting to be discovered. They present endless learning opportunities, and so many of them are right at a kids-eye level. My memories of spring days outside in the garden were the impetus for gathering up this collection of kids’ gardening activities you can try with your little ones. It’s a compilation that honors all of spring’s best qualities, with ways to help your kids enjoy the bright new blossoms, fresh growth, and even the muddiness! Spring rarely arrives on time where I live, so all of these hand-picked activities were chosen specifically because they can easily move with your kids from the indoors to the outdoors as spring blossoms and temperatures rise.

HOW TO PREP FOR GARDENING WITH KIDS

Here are a few ideas to help you make your kids’ spring garden play safe and enjoyable…

  • Keep an eye on the weather. A season defined by tumultuous temperatures, springtime can bring especially unpredictable weather. Make sure your little ones aren’t caught by surprise in the garden by keeping an eye on the forecast and watching for rapidly changing conditions.
  • Dress for mess. One of the BEST parts of gardening is embracing the dirt! A garden smock, apron, or even an old teeshirt, child-sized gardening gloves, and of course a good set of rubber boots or garden clogs can be extremely helpful.
  • Find the correct tools. From watering cans to rakes, having the right kid-sized tools is an important piece of making a garden feel inviting, helping little ones learn gardening skills, and teaching a sense of responsibility and ownership. I’ve made a collection of some of my very favorite kids’ gardening tools here that you can use as a reference to add to your own stock of kid-specific gardening supplies.
  • Discuss plant safety. Backyard gardening presents a great opportunity to help your kids understand the difference between edible and non-edible (or even toxic) plants. Which plants in your own yard or neighborhood to stay away from? This is also a great time to remind your kids that as much as we’d like to nibble right out of the fresh lettuce pot, it’s important to wash edible produce thoroughly before sampling.
  • Check garden areas for safety hazards. Even if you’re just in your own backyard, it’s always good to do a quick sweep of your gardening area for any safety hazards. A quick once-over for things like rusty nails, pieces of broken pots, etc. will give you peace of mind.
  • Practice organic gardening. Gardening with kids gives you yet another good reason to avoid chemicals and toxic sprays of any kind.
  • Be mindful of allergies. As beautiful as spring is, seasonal allergies abound – and not just for adults! Keep an eye out for allergy symptoms like excessive sneezing, itching, or rashes. Remind your little ones it’s best to avoid touching your face and eyes. Leave pollens, molds, and dust outside by taking a quick rinse-off and changing into fresh clothes after gardening.
  • Watch the sun. This time of year, when the temperature is still a bit chilly but the sun is shining, I can easily spend enough time out in the garden that I end up with pink sunburned cheeks. When out in the garden with kids, remember to provide shade, wear hats and sunscreens, and (as always!) hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

PLANTING BASICS WITH KIDS

Just introducing your kids to gardening? Simple tasks and easy, fun planting activities are a great way to encourage kids to get their hands dirty and embrace the joy of growing a garden!

A collage of four basic kids spring gardening activities
A collage of four kids spring indoor gardening

MAKING GARDENING SPACES FOR KIDS

Creating a garden for kids can be as simple as turning an empty plot of land into a safe area with some grass and flowers, or designing a garden that has many different areas where children can play. Here are some simple ideas to help you create engaging, colorful kid-inspiring garden spaces your little ones will love spending time in...

A collage of four kids spring crafts for a garden

KIDS SPRING FLOWER ACTIVITIES

Flowers aren’t just beautiful, they’re fascinating! Here are a few activities that you can do with your children to celebrate the arrival of spring beauties…

A collage of four pictures of kids spring flower activities.
A collage of four pictures of kids spring flower activities.

GROWING VEGETABLES WITH KIDS

Growing vegetables with kids is a great way to teach them about where our food comes from, explore sustainable practices, and instill a sense of accomplishment when their seeds grow into something they can eat. As a bonus, it can also boost their interest in eating vegetables…!

A photo collage of four kids spring vegetable gardening activities

EXPLORE GARDEN HABITATS WITH KIDS

Gardens provide lovely homes for all sorts of flora and fauna. Use these activities to explore the connection between garden habitats, living organisms of all shapes and sizes, and our ecosystems.

KIDS SPRING GARDEN PLAY

Play is a wonderful way for kids to explore gardening activities – especially at times when they can’t get outside or are waiting for things to grow. Here are a few different kinds of garden-themed play activities – from small worlds to scavenger hunts – that will help your kids pass the time while they wait for their real gardens to grow!

A photo collage of four kids spring gardening play activities

For more kids’ outdoor activity ideas, learn about Shinrin-Yoku and simple ways to start practicing with your kids, grab a free printable bug scavenger hunt, or make a DIY nature explorer kit from a shoebox and recycled supplies.

Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.

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